I registered for the Scotland Run, organized by New York Road Runners, because I ran it 2 years ago and I loved the atmosphere. It represents the first spring race for me. And the weather really didn’t disappoint this year. The temperature in mid 50’s was actually higher than most runners would enjoy and the sun burnt my bold forehead. Unusually large number of participants who gathered in the Central Park confirmed the general acceptance of the race. Probably, we all welcomed the return to distributing bagels instead of pretzels.

As with the Suffolk Half Marathon, I planned to extend the distance after finishing the race by 2 more loops to the total of 18 miles. This approach is setting mind to save myself for the entire 18 miles and not to go all out in the race. I didn’t warm up, as I knew I would have plenty of time to do so. The first 2 miles were horrible. I was stiff and shortly after the 1-mile marker a shoe lace untied. I see every race some runner with a lose lace and always wonder why on Earth you can’t make a double nod. Well, this time I forgot—lack of concentration.

Around mile 4, I finally started to feel little better and increased my speed.  At least, I thought. Yet, it was too late into the race to make it up to the 6:15 pace I set before the race. It was around 6:30 instead. I was running by myself without any support. It’s difficult to find a runner with similar pace on such a short distance. But I didn’t find anyone during my last marathon either. I finished the race in 39:31 minutes, got refreshments, looked for Jacqueline who was here running according to her own plan. We exchanged few words, took pictures together, and I went off on the loop again.

It was refreshing to run at a different place and to see so many runners on the road compared to the woods where I usually run. The entire time after the race I was deliberating if I wanted to continue running the 3rd loop, or go home. If it has any effect at all, since I was running so slowly—48 minutes. Nevertheless, after stopping at our meeting place and talking to Jacqueline who killed some time in face painting tent and sun bathing, I went off to the 3rd and last loop.

The sun was burning and the park was overcrowded at this hour, close to noon. I was weaving and thinking that weekends must be tough for runners in these conditions. I take the woods. Otherwise, I felt at peace, increased the speed and finished the 3rd loop in 46 minutes achieving 7:50 pace. That is not a pace I want have in Boston.